One of my favorite rites of spring is visiting the Smithsonian Craft Show at the National Building Museum in Washington DC. Here, for four days each April, can be found one of the most dazzling juried shows and sales of American fine craft in the country. This year’s exhibition features the work of 121 artists, each selected from a pool of over a thousand applicants for creativity, innovation and mastery of material. The Smithsonian Craft Show artists are the best of the best, and we at Artful Home are honored that 24 of our artists have been selected to show at this amazing event.
As I enter the National Building Museum, I am wowed by the history and beauty of the place itself. Corinthian columns rise 75 feet and arcaded galleries surround a soaring exhibition hall. The ceilings float four stories above the exhibition floor in a design inspired by Roman palaces. The museum has been the site of 16 Presidential inaugural balls and today, nestled within this inspirational space, are the booths of artists, each lit to show the art work at its best, and glistening with the brilliance of glass, the shine of metal, the warmth of wood, the intricacy of wearable art.
In glass, I visit the booths of Brian Becher, Carrie Gustafson, and Fred Kaemmer. Each of these glass artists has a visual voice that is identifiable the moment you see their work. In his Color Weave vessels, Brian Becher seems to weave with glass rods, creating swirling networks of overlapping colored lines.